Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Concerned citizens, food policy experts, affected farmers and agriculturists from across the country assembled at Jantar Mantar on Thursday to highlight what they claimed was a tragedy of unprecedented proportions that was unfolding across rural India in the shape of mass suicides by farmers. The candlelight vigil was organised by leading experts on food policy led by Devinder Sharma, Yudhvir Singh, Naresh Sirohi and Bhaskar Goswami along with the concerned people to highlight the plight of the debt ridden farmers. Mr. Sharma said pushed into poverty and indebtedness due to increased cost of cultivation and falling market prices, farmers are being driven to commit suicide. More than 1.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide across the country during the last 15 years, he added.

He said veteran freedom fighter Mohan Dharia had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him that the loans of farmers with less than 2-acre land holdings should be written off. Citing fiscal prudence, the Prime Minister had turned down this request.